Green needs a new name!


I’m not Green!

Today I talked to a client about using remodel funds to enhance the home by installing more insulation and sealing cracks and ultimately make it more efficient and comfortable, you know let’s talk Greener and sustainable.

They are getting tile from Turkey instead. That’s a tile that is quarried by people who end up crippled with lung disease and have missing fingers and toes from toiling in antiquated quarries. The clients, a lawyer and his educator wife want that tile and its expensive. So forget a new furnace, insulation or even caulking, its going to be the expensive Turkish tile, oh, and sconces from England, that came from China that got its steel from New York City? Damn, we be burning some diesel to get that stuff.

So how’s Green look on you?

I'm not Green!
Hiya, I am eco friendly and right a lot of the time.

Today I followed some Tweets in a Green area and the usual congratulations were being exchanged, you know “I really like the new design of the fart propelled car” and “I’m gonna make a banjo out of my empty pinto bean cans”.

Hallelujah, we need to get our message out to the masses.But we mostly just speak to each other.

Well, when are you going to consider the biggest hurdle to Green isn’t technology, its communication. The public has lost interest and with good reason, the Green movement has become boring, and you might say a bit smug in their political correctness. Sure its a good thing and many honest and well meaning people are involved in making our country Greener, but after all this rhetoric and money what were left with is a bunch of Al Gores mini me’s flying around getting cozy with manufacturers and singing to the Green choir. I hope this changes.

What do we do?

Well the message falls on many deaf ears and the politicians mostly endorse efforts to improve our standing with Mother Nature by making sure any improvements in sustainability are benefiting pet charities, like manufacturers who contribute to their reelection.

And now days everything is Green, like gasoline, quartz countertops, lawn chemicals, and candy, yes candy. Walgreens has eco candy and every candy bar you buy donates a percentage of sales to help orphaned baby kangaroos,  Damn, that brings a tear to my eye. Baby kangaroos are so cute.

I’m done talking about Green.

Green and sustainability are shop worn platitudes and Green is boring, the public has bigger concerns. Sustainability makes a lot of sense but we need another name for being Green. Green is old and its time to come up with something that doesn’t make people think of sprouts and oatmeal.

Next week Remodel Crazy will be helping the Green Movement move, to the present.

Send in your suggestions for giving Green a new name.

Do not print this out on paper, memorize it and talk about it round the campfire.

The Paul


  1. Boy you said it. “Green” has been so diluted a term that it’s now meaningless. I think that this is bound to happen with any catch phrase or blanket term. “Organic” is currently going the way of “natural” and will join it shortly in the dust bin of history. I think coming up with a new catch phrase is a fool’s errand because any term will become dilluted as the me-too-ers pile on. Why not rely on a discussion instead? How else can someone evaluate the sustainability of a product but to think it through? That can’t be done with a single word or phrase. If we’re to think for the long term and use resources wisely it has to be an ongoing process and the catchphrase du jour won’t cut it.

    Outstanding topic by the way!

  2. Your right, but it may be fun to see what people come up with for names.
    On the other hand Green as we know has so many experts that insist they are correct and its so easy to be accepted as an expert that until a dialogue identifies what will inspire people we will be singing the praises of Green to the believers. Its the regular folks we need to make an impact for the movement. I’m not Green but I am all for saving the planet and better living (better built and smarter homes).

  3. The public has lost interest thanks to shameless “greenwashing”, the abysmal attempt to capture revenue by professing to be a “green” builder, or a “green” client. Simplistically, the process, the materials, and the final product determine the accuracy of the professed “sensitivity to the ecology”. So, how do we distinguish true environmentally sound, “cradle to grave” practices from greenwashing? It’s not the lingo, it’s the process. Granted, it’s not that simple, because the public is that simplistic and naive (or indifferent). So, how to seperate yourself and your work from the liars? Demonstrate, in practice, process, and product, that green is not simply a color, inference, or concept. Be “Environmetally Conscious” in your practice. Be discretionary (despite the economic times) in your projects. Because that’s what it takes to differentiate yourself from the greenwashers. They talk the talk, you walk the walk. And at the end of the project, you sleep well, they wonder why the turkish marble cost so much, and yet…

  4. The first big leap for environmentalism was to take it out of the hands of the hippie/hairshirt/ultra left/hide in the forest crowd. Having done this and appealing to the middle-of-the-road consumer, it’s now mainstream and on the agenda. Not that I have anything against the old environmental crowd, but because they totally dominated the agenda for so long, the real culprits of pollution and waste ignored the issues for too long (about three decades by my reckoning).

    Dumping ‘Green’ as a label (since it’s only evolved into green-washing) is perhaps the next step. If you really wanted to change the agenda, perhaps we re-name the environmental movement the Red White and Blue- That would really confuse those Hummer drivers!

    The medium is the message!

  5. Earthlike.


    It’s hard to noodle up a good word for it, because it’s really asking people to think about something other than themselves – a lot of pressure on one little word!

    Hmmm…. Perhaps we should have a contest to come up with the next word! Go paul! 🙂

  6. The “green” ideas don’t sell very well lately. Customers want quality material at reasonable price. Hardly anybody ever mentions green alternatives when I meet with potential clients. Of course, everybody wants to help environment and stuff when asked but very few actually care. Since I don’t want to lose a job, I don’t press the issue too much.


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